Steve Napolitan is an award-winning marketer, placing in the top ten in Marketing Sherpa’s Most Viral Ad in the World Competition. His clientele includes Fortune 500 companies like Apple, Intel, Charles Schwab and Nestle, as well as small to mid-sized companies.
The marketing, sales, team building and business systems training that Steve leads has guided his clients in the generation of 100’s of millions in new revenue, while reducing work hours.
In addition to consulting with clients Steve is a #1 international bestselling author and an international speaker.
Listen to this informative Publish. Promote. Profit. episode with Steve Napolitan about using a book to increase over a million in revenue.
Here are some of the beneficial topics covered on this week’s show:
How having more business allows people to live bigger lives.
Why producing more results for clients leads to more revenue.
How writing a book can make you look more appealing to current clients.
Why having a book helps people spread their knowledge to others.
How writing a book can take your brand and business far.
Connect with Steve:
Guest Contact Info:
Hey, welcome, everybody. Rob Kosberg here with another episode of The Publish. Promote. Profit. Podcast. I have a great guest. I say that a lot, but I think you’re really going to like Steve and the stuff that we talked about today. Steve Napolitan is an award-winning marketer, placed in the top 10 in the MarketingSherpa’s most viral ad competition, very, very cool, clientele of Fortune 500 companies like Apple, Intel, Charles Schwab but works with small and mid-sized companies as well which is very cool. Steve has a couple of bestselling books. We’ll talk a little bit about that. We’ll also talk about, maybe with his permission, some of the cool things that he has upcoming. Another thing I love about Steve, he’s a family man, speaks all over the world and travels with his wife and kids together. Steve, welcome to The Publish, Promote, Profit Podcast. Great to have you on, my friend.
It’s my pleasure, Rob. Thanks for having me.
It’s been a crazy time in the world, as people are sick of hearing and you’ve built this incredible business with speaking as a big foundational part of it, right? What has it been like for you and for business with some of that being taken away? What’s the transition been like to the online marketplace and that kind of thing for you?
Well, thanks for asking. Like many of us, it hit really hard and being a speaker trainer and having had … I was in Africa, barely got back in the first week of March back into the US and everything locks down. Within two weeks, pretty much my whole world, it was like the rug getting pulled out from under, all the trainings except for two. Two committed pretty quickly to turning virtual, the rest all went away, so I was coming up with new things. Luckily, I had been already doing virtual. I was able to do that. The thing that kept me going, Rob, because it was ugly, we’re talking tons and tons of revenue. The thing that kept me going was why I do it. I’m here to help businesses.
My mission is to help as many people have the freedom they desire and so that doesn’t change. I was thought, “Okay, if all the speaking has gone away, how else are we going to do this?” We had already had virtual programs. We lifted the bar way up. We built a whole e-learning center. I hired so … During the time, I’m losing revenue, but I hired two more coaches because it became a lot of high touch and many of our clients needed more touch, right? I even had this craziness at the very beginning. People were saying, “We can’t sell right now. Everyone’s in …” I said, “Wait a minute. What do you mean you can’t sell?” I asked, “So you don’t want to do business?”
Actually, this person was so pushing back with me. I said, “Does your business hurt people?” They looked at me and they said, “You’re crazy. What? No way. No, my business doesn’t hurt you.” I asked, “Well, then why would you stop helping?” That’s been my theme, Rob, right there, “Why would I stop helping?” so I just completely reinvented the business to the next level. I’m going to welcome getting back on stage. I did my first one three weeks ago. It’s a hybrid, but it was really rewarding to be able to get back on the stage again too.
Very cool. At Best Seller Publishing, we obviously don’t teach any of the speaker stuff. By the way, I watched some of your speeches or at least parts of them and love your style, love how you give to people. Obviously, we’ll give some links for people to check out your stuff in case they’re looking for speakers because you’d be a good one for them to choose, but at Best Seller Publishing, one of the things that we see many of our clients want to book for is to land bigger speaking engagements, make bigger fees, make a bigger splash, a bigger impact. It has been honestly a little surprising to me how many of them have successfully transitioned over to this virtual space.
It seems like in the very beginning and you may have experienced this exact thing that many places said, “No, we want in person only,” and yet, within a month or two, it seemed like many of them had been able to transition over and capture an entirely new kind of market, if you will, in this virtual space. I don’t think the in person stuff is ever going to go away, but have you noticed the same thing, maybe more embracing the virtual event model?
Absolutely and I agree with you, it’s going to come back. People are going to come out in droves because they’re tired of being in one place, so I think we’re going to want, we’re going to see a big uptick, but with that said, there are going to be times when we’re going to want that virtual space. I think anyone that’s speaking, if you’re already speaking or you want to grow your speaking business, your in-home setup is going to be important, how you set yourself up, buying some equipment, getting that going, but then even on my bigger ones, I actually bring a team in, so I don’t mess around. At the very beginning, I did have this one friend of mine does an event. It’s $100,000 they spend on this event to put this event on. Then he called me right before the event and it was too late. I couldn’t help him, but he was going to his office by himself.
I asked, “What are you doing?” I said, “Don’t go from 100 grand to 2 grand. Get some people.” Maybe this is a little bit more than what you’re looking for, but when I do my events, I also run my own events plus I go to other people’s event. I do about six events a year and we didn’t cancel any of those last year.
We got them all, we turned them all hybrid. I had a small three-man crew coming to my house. We had multiple cameras. I had music. I had a musician and they were in a different place. They were in Atlanta. They’re able to play, open it up. We’re getting people moving. We had them stand up. I think a lot of people are having this idea of Zoom fatigue, that work is coming up more and more. Everyone’s been asking for shorter speeches and I said, “No, that’s not what I’m doing.” I’m getting longer. I’m asking for a minimum of 90 minutes and here’s why. This is what I found over a year of doing this now, the more interactive it is, the more impact we’re making. People don’t want to sit in front of the computer. If I go shorter, it just becomes a lecture and then it’s just another lecture, but what I’ve done is created an experience and then have them come play with me and we’re doing more workshop style. That’s one of the things I would bring that awareness to everyone out there right now.
I love your contrarian approach. I remember hearing a story years ago, Joe Rogan, of course, the number one podcaster in the world, everybody told him and gave him advice that he should stick with short form, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, etcetera. He said, “No, if I’m going to bring people in and we’re going to sit down across from each other, I’m going to talk to him for as long as I want two hours, three hours.” Of course, that contrarian approach helped him build the most listened to podcasts in the world. I love what you’re doing. I know we’re not talking so much about your magic, but we’re talking about the way you think that leads to people finding your magic, which I think is so crucial in the world because what good would it be if you had all of these gifts and talents and no one knew about it, right?
Yeah, that’s great. The best kept secret is not a compliment.
No, it’s not and it’s like you told your client. I know you have a real marketing focus when it comes to helping business owners. Do you have a methodology that you take them through when it comes to growing their business, marketing their business?
Absolutely and the processes is quite layered, and I look at where they are. Like you had mentioned, I work with such a stretch in size organizations, what they need, but one principle that I can give you that is a must for every client I have is a sheer focus to work with WOW clients and that’s beyond. When people think about marketing and think about the target audience, I go beyond that, transcending to the point where when you work with who you really want to work with, and this is for the whole organization, it brings the morale up. Because I’m all about time …
Excuse me, one of my trademarks is More Business, More Life and that’s my main thing and people think that time is the most valuable thing for me, but it really is energy. It’s energy because if you have all the time, but you don’t have the energy, then what is life like? The same comes to our marketing, we want to energize our company by who we work with. This actually is a huge marketing thing because what I found is, I call it the four R’s, there’s four things that come from working only with the WOW. This is opposed to working with the OW, by the way.
That’s good. I like that.
Because WOW and OW, right? The OW sucks our energy, right? Now we’re losing … I’ve lost staff because I’ve had clients that were so mean, people quit. Then because I was the owner or I’m a speaker, they would treat me well. I’ve had this many times and then they treat my staff like garbage. I tell them, “That doesn’t work It’s not okay.” Real quick, the four R’s takeaway, when you, and you can even just picture yourself, work with those WOW people, the ones you love working with, the number one thing you get is more results. Everyone’s willing. You’re going to go the extra mile, the extra five miles I would even guess, without even thinking about it because it’s so wow, right?
Then if people have more results, guess what? You’re probably going to have more revenue. People are going to pay more for those results. They’re going to come back again and again. It gives that longevity of the relationship. Then the third one is raving fans. Because they’re having so much results, they’re willing to pay you more, they’re going to go be the raving fans because who writes reviews, the WOW and the AW, is the ones that are so mad, they’re going to go write a bad review or the ones that are so happy they’re going to write a good review. The middle, it’s like pulling teeth to get a review, so we want more WOW. The more focus you go …
There’s a famous saying, “Where your focus goes, energy flows.” If you focus on those WOW, you’re going to … and that comes to the fourth are referrals.
If you get if you think of Jim Rohn. He said, the five people you hang out with the most are the equal view, but guess who your WOW clients? WOW. You start going up, up, up, up.
Beautiful. I love the four R’s. I love them. That’s great. A lot of people wonder, “How can I create a more referral-based business?” We do a lot of paid advertising. I do a lot of online speaking. In fact, I have a live Q&A coming up after you and I talk, but there’s nothing like wonderful experience that a client has, and because of that, they want to send you another client. There’s nothing like that, right?
If you focus on the WOW, that will happen with ease.
Love that. That’s beautiful. Maybe we can shift gears for just a moment. Your four R’s, of course, are something that you both teach and I’m sure it hereby when it comes to your own business, but you get clients a lot of different ways you get clients through your speaking, you get clients through your books, I wonder if we could talk for a minute about your books are out there working for you. Tell me a little bit about how your books have helped you to grow your brand, grow your presence, bring in new customers into your business? How is that work for you?
It’s been amazing, Rob. I have to say, this might sound crazy to say, but my experience was, it was amazing how many people come in droves once you put your name on a piece of paper. It felt like that because I’ve been speaking since 2007. My first book released in 2016. Nearly a decade and everyone kept telling mem, “Get a book. Get a book. Get a book,” and thought, “Oh, I don’t even put time on that right now.” I’m thinking, “Things are good,” but I do wish and I don’t regret, I’m not a regretful man, but I’ll tell you, if I would have done it sooner, I would have had higher revenue because within 12 months, it was over a million in increased revenue.
I had people calling me that I knew, and I even said on a call, Rob, shortly after my book hit number one, I said, you know I’m still Steve. I’m the same guy.” Just because I put my name on a book and put some words and I’m finally on paper, it was crazy. Even within six weeks of hitting number one, craziest thing happened, a client sent me 5 grand that I hadn’t worked with and about a year. They sent me 5 grand. I asked, “What is this?” and there’s a little note in there and said, “Hey, I know everything’s going so well. I saw what happened to your book. Here’s 5 grand to hold space for me. I don’t know what we need to do yet, but I want to make sure that you have time for me,” and they just sent me 5 grand. I was like, “Are you kidding me?”
These stories that happened right after the book happened. For me, it was a shock. Then from there, it does something. Then now, even like this, you invited me on this and I’m grateful that you invited me on this. I was also on Jeffrey Hayzlett. He puts a bestseller TV show on and then he puts it out on United Airlines. I’ve had clients call, “I saw your book on my United flight,” and then they buy our courses and our programs. I can’t even tell you now since 2016, I stopped tracking the exact revenue from, maybe I shouldn’t have, but once we start getting into the seven figures of revenue from the book, from that particular book, it’s gotten gray on how much more business it is, but it literally is millions in revenue.
That’s amazing. Congratulations. What a great story. What a great foundation. I know you have plans for more books and maybe even a series of books. Maybe just talk a little bit about that and where you want that to take, where you want those books to take your brand and your business?
Yeah, there’s so many lessons because putting that book together was quite easy for me. There was a lot of hoops to jump through and I got coaching, I got help. I highly recommend that. I was trying to write a book for two years on the side. When I finally got some coaching, consulting, within six months, I went from kind of having a book to having a book hit number one and knowing all the bells and whistles, but having that support, I was able … My biggest fear, Rob, was that I had created a lifestyle with my family, and I didn’t want becoming an author to become this extra big chore and take away from that. That was my fear. Getting a coach and a consultant took that away. I just wanted to plug that in there. That definitely helped me.
Then from there now, going back to your question, there are so many other lessons I teach, “Why would I not put each of those in a book?” and that’s where the book series is coming. I’ll have my own Chicken Soup for the Soul, which I’ve gotten to meet Jack Canfield, brilliant man, the first person to do a billion in book sales from the series, right? Chicken Soup for the Soul. Just watching that model, being able to take my WOW clients that I mentioned is become my most sought after speech. Creating the WOW clients, WOW marketing, WOW sales, all these things that I teach, there’s a curriculum around each of those that I’ve been training my clients for years, but to put those into a book.
Then this way what that does is it opens up to reach more people. Some people are going to read the book, but I will tell you, the people who read my book the most are my paying clients. It’s interesting. Now, the flipflop, first, the book got me in and it still does, but now I find the biggest readers, the ones that come with Post-it notes around the whole book, those are the people that have taken a class from me and then they go read the book as supplement to the learning and they’re devouring the book. I’ve seen people with my second book, 1 Hour a Day to 6 Figures with so many Post-it notes because it is a how-to book. It’s like a little encyclopedia for them. There’s so many layers, I guess, where I’m getting at.
Does that help? I know there’s a roundabout-
No, that helps a ton. I actually want to put you on the spot a little, if that’s okay.
Go for it.
It’s funny, it sounds like up until this point, a lot of what has happened with your books is organic and has happened naturally and people have come to you which is something that we talk about a lot at Best Seller Publishing, but one of the things I also talk about is you must use your books in a very proactive way, not just a reactive way. Are there some things that you’re doing proactively with your books, sending them to potential clients or sending them to potential speaking gigs, that kind of thing? Is there any proactive methodology?
Absolutely, I’m going to say then in now. Now has trickled off because I’m just now presently working on the new book. I’m gearing up for that and I’ve moved my branding away from the old books. There is a slight gap, but if we go back a couple of years now, I was very active. In fact, I purposely launched my book on a speaking gig.
When we launched my book, one of the ways that we hit number one is I was speaking, and I asked everyone in the audience to buy my book. They did it. Well, not everyone, but a lot of people did it. Within two hours of launching the book, we had sold 300 copies and then we kept going and it’s so very, very proactive and absolutely. It still happens to this day. I just working with a billion dollar company and I’m on the phone with the CEO and we’re talking about it. He asked, “Can you send me something I can digest about you before we move forward?” Then I can grab a chapter and so I don’t give him the whole book. He said, “Hey, read this chapter. It’s right on point. This is what we’re talking about. Let’s have …” and then I booked the next meeting right away so when I get into that next meeting, and then that sealed the deal.
I’ll tell you, just being vulnerable, I was a little nervous because the book is from 2016. I promised you, as a teacher, I’ve evolved so much more. Even the four R’s are not in that book. They’re in there, but they weren’t like four R’s. It’s like my stuff has gotten cooler, so I hesitated. Rob, I almost didn’t click, and I thought, “Oh, he wants me to send him something and I don’t want to, and I sent it anyway.” I thought, “You know what? If he doesn’t like it, then we’re not meant to work together.”
Thank goodness you sent it.
He said, “It was so simple,” and he said, “That’s the genius.” He’s like, “I can see how you make learning easy,” and he got that from reading that. Then now we have an engagement. Actually, next week, I start with them and this is a minimum, probably $150,000 to $500,000 engagement. We don’t know the full spend yet from reading a chapter in my book.
Incredible, incredible. Steve, I actually hear that a lot with my clients. We tend to be the worst critics of our work because we do evolve, we do change. My Publish, Promote, Profit which hit Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller, I’ve changed in the two years since that has been out. We’ve added new things. There are things that we do differently now, but the truth be told, what you wrote in 2016 is still you. It’s still great. I’m so glad you sent that because we wouldn’t have had the story if you didn’t.
I am too. I have one other quick story, if I may, this is what got me to overcome it. When I first, at that award you brought up, when we were the number six viral ad in the world, we beat out Levi’s and Disney, I started getting asked to speak. I was not a speaker. Then after I did my speaking gig, everyone said, “This is so valuable, you got to do a course.” Then I did my first course, I worked it all up and we had people sign up and they’re paying 4 grand. It was a 12-week course and I freaked out, I almost canceled it, Rob. I thought, “This is not good enough.” I was so picking on myself. Then the people I was with, they convinced me to do it. They said, “It’s going to get better. Once you start teaching, you’ll be fine.” It didn’t. As I was teaching, I thought “Oh, this is so bad. I can do so much better,” the whole way through, I’m beating myself up.
Then even after I thought people were going to ask for a refund. No one asked for a refund. About a year later, it was a year and a half later, I got a phone call from one of the women that were in the course. I remembered all their names because I felt so bad. I saw her name come up on my phone because I had it in my phone. Then I thought, “Oh no, she’s finally asking for a refund.” That’s what I thought in my head. I get on the phone and she said, “Steve, I just want to call and thank you. I still take my notes from that class. It’s changed the way that I do my sales and marketing. You completely changed my business. Thank you so much.
That’s what I needed, Rob, because that moment, it clarified me no matter where we are as a teacher, we can always be better, we can always do better, but there are people that don’t know what we know and it’s our gift to give that no matter where we are and we just have to suck it up because they don’t know the other stuff that we know. They have no idea.
It’s really something inside ourselves that was holding me back, not what they were perceiving. I had to get out of my own head and then let my work do its work, if that makes sense.
Nice. It’s beautiful. Thank you for saying that. We are our worst critic, and because of that, so many people do not let their magic, their full impact really be made. I’m glad you’ve overcome it. I certainly have had my challenges with it as well. Every author that we’ve worked with over a thousand authors, I can tell you at one level or another, they have had the same questions and concerns about their work because yes, it can always be better, but it will make an impact when you really give authentically and from the wealth of knowledge that you have. That’s a great story. Thanks for sharing that.
It’s my pleasure because it really helped me overcome it. It’s probably what helped me push that button and it doesn’t make those feelings go away because even now, just a week ago, I was hesitant before I pressed send on the darn email. So, it still shows up, but then because I had that story, I said, “Wait a minute, Steve, send it.”
Now you got to know the story.
That’s it, the story on top of story. It is beautiful and even thank you for what you do because it’s one thing to create a book but then you have to market. It’s one thing I learned from … I went to film school and then became a marketer, but I always told people it’s showbusiness. It’s not show play, so you stop to build the business around your work, the book that you’re creating. I think it’s complements back to your work because you’re helping people with information, learning or whatever their book is, but then they have to package it all around, which is what you’re sharing here.
Beautiful man. Well, thank you. Thank you for saying that, good stuff. Let’s tell people where can they best find you, website. I know you have your own podcast and such. Where can we send them and see to get some more info about you?
Well, the simple place because whatever your flavor is for social media, then we’ve got them, but you just go to stevenapolitan.com and then also, you’re right, the podcast’s a great place to start listening. More Business, More Life is the podcast because we’re building those business and sales efficiency that more business while we design our ideal life and start living it right now. More Business, More Life is the podcast.
Beautiful. My friend, thank you for being with us. You have lucky clients, lucky family. I’m sure you feel like the lucky one. That makes it all work, but congratulations on all your success and thanks for being with us today.
My pleasure, Rob. Thank you so much for having me.